One year ago, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Jack Phillips (Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission), a Christian baker who refused to bake a custom wedding cake for a homosexual couple, based on the grounds that doing so would violate his religious liberty.
Trumpservatives and the Fellowship of the Pharisees — my apologies if that sounded redundant — praised the decision as a victory for religious liberty, but it was nothing of the sort. The Court left the First Amendment question unanswered, and in the end, religious liberty was no safer than it was before the ruling. Even the ACLU was happy.
We thank God for answered prayer! Today the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony. This is a huge win for religious freedom!https://t.co/jXX6pd6xaQ
— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) June 4, 2018
Folks, this opinion is insanely narrow and the fight against religious liberty and the codification of rainbow jihad as the religion of the land has only begun. We need legislation pushing back. Yes, it could have been worse, but this is hardly reason to celebrate.
— Daniel Horowitz (@RMConservative) June 4, 2018
Our full statement on today's Supreme Court ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop: pic.twitter.com/xNPeKjwCXK
— ACLU (@ACLU) June 4, 2018
Writing for the majority, Anthony Kennedy confirmed this sad reality when he noted how the case had created a “difficult situation” between the LGBT agenda and its impact on religious liberty and how the issue “must await further elaboration” in the courts before being settled.
Since the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling, we’ve seen a little bit of what Kennedy’s “further elaboration” looks like, and let’s just say things haven’t been all that “difficult” for the anti-religious-freedom/pro-LGBT agenda.
Just weeks after Jack Phillips’ so-called victory, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission went after him again — this time for refusing to bake a “gender transition” cake for a transgender lawyer. Though this cake was recently dropped by mutual agreement, the mentally ill lawyer has filed a new lawsuit in Denver District Court making the same accusations.
A few days ago, the Washington Supreme Court ruled in favor of a homosexual couple and against Barronelle Stutzman (Washington v. Arlene’s Flowers), a Christian florist who refused to created custom designed floral arrangements for their wedding based on the grounds that doing so would violate her religious liberty.
Due to the similarities with to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the SCOTUS vacated an earlier ruling made by the Washington court against Arlene’s Flowers and sent it back to the state for further review. But since the SCOTUS Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling focused more on state behavior than it did religious liberty, the Washington Supreme Court concluded the state didn’t engage in the same anti-religious behavior evident in Colorado, so it ruled as it did before.
While it remains to be seen whether the SCOTUS will revisit the Arlene’s Flowers case, any hope in the court is misplaced because, as the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling clearly proves, high court “victories” are rarely as they appear.
We should remember a few other facts concerning the judiciary. Despite McConnell’s claims to the contrary, Trump and the Republican Senate aren’t saving the courts. Brett Kavanaugh has become a solid ally of the leftist wing of the court, and recent decisions not to hear cases involving Planned Parenthood funding, gun rights (bump stock and silencer bans), and transgender bathrooms indicate the courts have become an unreliable defender of the Constitution.
The signs are everywhere that we’re living in a post-Constitutional America where LGBT tyranny is destroying religious liberty … and Republicans and the courts they claim to be “saving” are making it worse.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative.
His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.